Sunday, May 16, 2010

Let's Face It


Just a little rant because . . I like
Facebook. I don't use it that often . . lies . . I log in once or twice a day, catch up on virtual and real friends, find the odd old lost forgotten friend and sometimes put something silly in the box at the top.

One thing I understand about
Facebook is that it's a social networking site. It's free and somehow the silicon valley kings have to pay for its upkeep. How do they do that? Targeted advertising. So why are so many people upset about a violation of privacy on Facebook? It only draws the information you choose to put on it. Yep YOU CHOOSE.

I don't get it. If you want a private conversation you can do that through a number of media from snail
mail or a simple telephone call through to chat on apps such as Google Chat or Skype, both of which I use frequently and both of which require a minimum of information about the user in order to register.

There's a
brouhaha brewing at the moment because Facebook is constantly changing it's privacy policy or because people simply don't know how to set privacy settings. Now c'mon. You don't get behind the wheel of a car without having a modicum of knowledge as to how to operate a vehicle so why would you join a world wide social networking site if you don't know how it works?

If you don't want people to know your identity, where you live, what school you attended or to look at your photos, for God's sake don't upload them. If you do have private information on your profile but insist on playing
Farmville or scrabble or downloading a number of stupid applications . . .expect that information to be collected. Facebook tells you that it will!

Also, don't 'friend' people you don't know or trust. If your privacy settings are set to "Friends" then only people you allow access can see shit. If your settings go as a far as 'Friends of Friends' or "Everyone" then you're releasing information on your profile page to the cyber universe.

I have a minimum of information on my
Facebook page. My birthday (which is October 16 by the way so put that in your diaries), my education, my city and country, why I'm on there, a few photos that I really don't care if friends can see them and that's about it.

Think about it. Your personal information is widely available through your tax returns, medical records, criminal records etc. OK it's not easy to get this information but it is possible. I can find out who owns the block next to mine by doing a simple title search. I can Google just about anyone and get some information so it's not rocket science.

I think you really need to think 'why' you're on
Facebook and if it's to protect your privacy, probably not a great idea. Facebook takes whatever personal information you 'choose' to provide so don't provide what you don't want others to know. If it's to network, find old friends, see how the other half lives or just keep in touch, it's a terrific way to do so.

Don't want people to know . . .don't tell them! You might know a lot about me from
Facebook, the blog or other electronic media such as LinkedIn but you still only know what I choose to tell you. . .and that aint my shoe size!

30 comments:

JeffScape said...

Don't be so intuitive!

Ronda Laveen said...

True, but if I'd wanted 6 sites to have my info without spending their own time doing an exclusive search of me for it, I would have joined 6 sites.

BTW, thanks for your bra size.

Alan Burnett said...

One day someone is going to discover that there is this book somewhere with our names, our addresses and our telephone numbers in and all hell will break loose. Whenever I open my Facebook pages there are always adverts for stairlifts and the like : rather clever I think.

lettuce said...

off to scrawl you into my diary

oh, and to check my fb settings...

Elisabeth said...

A great post and I couldn't agree ore. Besides I think the notion of real privacy is fast fading.

What's the saying? Big Brother knows all, but hopefully we need not be too paranoid. Hopefully the information will not be used against us.

Ropi said...

I don't agree with you. I think if you had set something private then Facebook should have kept it this way.

nick said...

I think it's very simple. If you're doing something in cyberspace you have to assume that anything you reveal is potentially accessible by anybody on the planet. So just don't publish anything you wouldn't want Mr or Ms X to read. Or publish it all under a false identity.

River said...

As instructed, October 16th is now listed in my diary. Ha Ha

i value my privacy, so I don't go anywhere near Facebook or Myspace. Certainly not Twitter.

Mim said...

I went onto FB about a year ago to catch up on old friends - it's been great for that.
I also check up on my nieces and nephews...sneaky auntie.

and that's it. no other stuff...but then again..I blog so if anyone wants to know who I am..I'm right out there.

October 16th eh? lovely day.

Grannymar said...

When I go near FB it is a bad sign. It means I'm bored! I find direct contact through Skype and G/chat far more interesting.

i beati said...

I find blogging with its bigger pictures etc more captivating- facebook is fluff for me- just me ,sandy

Tom said...

yep, they gotta pay for it somehow...it's no worse than comapnies seling your information and address to the junk mail folks...and i still get plenty of that

Brian Miller said...

so what size are those feet?

itsurprises me how surprised people get that things they put on the internet get found...

laughingwolf said...

i put nothing there most of the world knows already...

sent you friend request cuz it came up when i replied to a buddy today

Carolina said...

So... feel better now? You are right though. I'm not on Facebook but on Hyves. A similar concept. My privacy settings are set to 'friends only'. As a punishment Hyves doesn't let me visit non-Hyvesfriends because they can't visit me. Am I bothered? No. I haven't been there for ages actually. I like blogworld better.

Gledwood said...

I find some of the information requested, not just for blogging type sites but to open e.g. email accounts is more than I want to give so I have an entire false profile, including a birthday at the other side of the year, that I give 'em. Why do they need to know all this?? Also I object to email's wanting a first and a last name to deliver "from". Can't it just come from Gledwood? (It does, but it has to come from "Mr Gledwood"...)

e said...

All of the things you mention keep me from FB or Twitter...A blog is bad enough! I have Oct. 16 written down now...

Everyday Goddess said...

Hello fellow Libra friend!

otin said...

If people want to know your information they will find it. The only way to avoid it is not to have any kind of online history.

Kate said...

Well what a shame! I had a lovely long rant on here yesterday and it has disappeared!
Can't remember what I put now......

Kath Lockett said...

Hear hear Baino.

I'm on it and have got nothing to hide. I'm all for privacy and restrictions but my life is so vanilla and safe that I'm not fussed about what's on my FB.

babysis said...

mmmm I actually agree with Ropi. And whilst I know what I'm doing on FB, does my daughter? There are many many people who are on FB and dont know what they are in for. Thats why I think privacy settings are just that PRIVACY SETTINGS they are supposed to be there for a reason. I have decided I hate FB and shall be terminating it very shortly. Call me naive call me what you like - but FB is a law unto its own.

unstranger said...

Spot on Baino. But the privacy settings do keep stuff private to public trawlers. What 'facebook', Zukerberg, has done is sold access to the entry codes for cash to industry so the access is solely commercial and of course Governmental.

steph said...

I've avoided FB so far despite lots of ragging from all the family.

I simply don't trust it!

I know what year you were born and I didn't need FB to tell me :-)

Robyn said...

i don't do facebook... i've taken to writing postcards.

i've been tempted a couple of times and decided that there is only so few hours in a day and i'm not prepared to devote anymore to the computer.

great post
x robyn

Megan said...

Agree with all you say here. I do love Facebook!

blackwatertown said...

I'm with Robyn on the postcards.
Agree with you on FB.

moondustwriter said...

think the book with our names, addresses, what we wrote last is already there. Love FB hate the fact that it changes cuz it's not comfortable in it's own skin.

Anonymous said...

Spot on. Excellent rant, thank you!

Sarah Lulu said...

It's true I am moving again, totally cosmic joke ... but I'm going with it!

Just back from a gorgeous time away ...

I'm on facebook!!!!!